Frank Wilson has admitted the departure of first-team coach Paul Dale is not ideal timing for Tooting & Mitcham.
Dale has become co-manager at Whyteleafe in the Bostik League South Division. He and Wilson masterminded the Terrors promotion from that level last season.
Wilson said: “It is a decision by Paul to further his own football career. He sees it as a stepping stone in status for himself despite being a league below.
“He felt that is the next challenge for him – because it is still a managerial position.
“We will still speak every day and there is no damage to our relationship. But it is not good timing for us. I still very much wanted to be working with Paul because of the success we have had and shared.
“It’s a difficult time because you have to shuffle things around.”
Development boss Ashley Bosah has stepped up to first-team matters.
Wilson is not sure yet whether he will look to add to his staff.
“I’ve been given autonomy by the chairman if I do want to recruit,” he said. “I worked with Ashley with our reserves and there is a relationship of trust already there. It is not alien to either of us.
“I’m not desperate to employ anybody. I need to make sure the dynamic is right.
“My background is very much in coaching but I reigned that in for Paul. I’m quite looking forward to taking on a bigger role again on that side – it is what I am passionate and enthusiastic about.”
Tooting lost 3-1 to Margate on Tuesday night. Isaiah Jones scored a 90th-minute consolation for the South London club.
Jordan Chiedozie netted twice in the opening 20 minutes with Kane Haysman extending the visitors’ lead shortly after the hour mark.
Callum McNaughton was withdrawn from the side just before kick-off after complaining of a headache – a head blow suffered at the weekend ensuring the medical team ruled him out.
It saw Sam Flegg forced to switch from right-back to centre-back with Sol Patterson-Bohner moving into the starting line-up.
“Sam didn’t turn up until 20 minutes before kick-off because the trains were delayed,” said Wilson. “So we went from having perfect preparation on the day to being all over the shop.
“Sam collided with a team-mate for their opening goal. It was a calamitous moment and put us on the back foot in the first half.
“We’re definitely not where our league position says we are at the moment.
“If we had not had a poor start then we’d be mid-table. If we had beaten Margate we would have gone 14th in the table – up seven places. The margins are so tight.”